SANFL and the South Australian football community is mourning the passing of State and North Adelaide champion Neil Sachse.
Along with his brother Dennis, Neil was part of the fabled Roosters team of the early 1970s that won back to back premierships and in 1972 defeated Carlton to claim the title of Champions of Australia. Neil played 94 games in the red and white as a relentless and powerful utility.
He played five times for South Australia including a best on ground performance against Western Australia at Football Park in 1974.
The following season Neil transferred to Footscray but in his second VFL match was left a quadriplegic after a heavy collision at the Western Oval. The devastating injury rocked the football world and led to greater awareness and protocols around spinal and head injuries.
Neil committed his life to raising awareness of disability and spinal injury. His foundation raised millions of dollars for research and education and he was tireless in his efforts.
”Neil was a wonderful player who had his football career tragically cut short,” SANFL chief executive Jake Parkinson said.
”However, he remained a pioneer, committed and tenacious in his pursuit for research and understanding of spinal injuries through his foundation for which our game is the benefactor. He will be deeply missed.”
Neil passed away after a short illness. SANFL expresses its deepest sympathy to Neil’s wife Janyne and sons Ben and Sam and their families.